Things My Mother Said

Lately, I've been catching myself using a variety of phrases to get my son's attention when he is doing something he shouldn't.  Most recently, when Samuel knowingly disobeys, I find myself looking at him and saying in exasperation, "Seriously, Samuel?" or "Really?"  To which he replies, "Sorry I'm fusterating (his pronunciation, not mine) you Mama."

Just last week I was dancing in the kitchen when I looked down to see him, with his hands on his hips, looking at me like I was, well, crazy.  "Really, Mama?  Really?" was the comment I got from this too-smart-for-his-own-good-but-its-what-I-get-for-being-so-gifted-with-sarcasm-myself at that very moment.

Apparently he wasn't into my choreography.  I told him that when' he's 18, he can come up with his own, but while he's under my roof and unemployed...I was the Cheryl Burke of the kitchen.

I realized I sounded like my mother, I sounded like your mother, I sounded like all of the mothers of the world...when did this happen?

It made me think of some of the things my mother would say when I was growing up to get my sister and I back to "right livin'" and even though I pinky swore to my 6th grade BFF that these would never come out of my mouth...I am resigning myself to the fact that they most likely will.

It's just a matter of time.

Here are my mother's top six discipline statements:

1. I didn’t say you had hairy thighs and didn’t love the Lord - My mother used to say this whenever we took her guidance too personally.  It was like, "yes, your behavior sucks, but your thighs are smooth and you do love God so what are you so mad about?"  Don't ask, I don't know where she got this from.  

2. It’s gonna be me and you, but mostly me. - This was always a pre-spanking threat.  It was like, "If you do that one more time..."  

3. To the moon, Alice, and I guarantee it ain’t gonna be in no rocket ship - I'm not going to lie.  I don't know what this one meant.  Perhaps the worst punishment in life is being made to go into space without any special equipment.  Being that kids are so literal, I always wondered...would she catapult me into space?  Would she just throw me with her bionic Inspector Gadget Arms?  Would I have to find my own way?  All I know was that if my sister and I continued to go down the path of disobedience, we were going to the moon...and we weren't going to like it.

4. Do we need to have a prayer meeting? - Gosh, my mother was spiritual.  In the midst of our meltdowns in the ladies department of Rich's, my mother's first thought was to go a nearby dressing room and take our problems to the Lord...unless of course I go ahead and let you know that a "prayer meeting" was code for a spanking.  Looking back though, I'm not exactly sure why it required a code.  In the 80's my other could have bent me over her knee at the intersection where the Big Chicken stands and all the passing drivers would have honked in approval.  Public spankings in the 20th century were the modern day public beheadings that bored families packed a picnic lunch for and waited all day to see.  There was no need to drag God into it.

5. I’m gonna knock you naked (neck-ed) and hide your clothes. - This was my mother's way of saying, "Y'all, it's getting on my nerves. Enough"  When I was little, I wondered how hard you had to hit a person so that their clothes would actually fly of their body.  I assure you that I didn't really want to find out.  Mostly, though, this threat did not really refer to actual hitting or public nudity...again it was simply a scary and colorful way of saying "STOP IT."  

6. I mean, a nun. - The threat of sending me to a convent was usually the result of doing something wrong the first time and the consequence of doing it a 2nd time, I was told, would be dedicating my life to the Catholic soon as we looked one up in the phone book because we were Southern Baptist and there is no threat equivalent in our church.   Just saying, "you do that one more time and I mean a job setting up the bi-monthly potluck dinners on a table as to give each chicken casserole equal distance from the last" just doesn't have the same ring to it. If we were going to be thugs...the Pope was going to have to deal with us.  

I hope all my peeps born before 1990 can relate to some of these methods.  I am so thankful for a mother who loved me enough to discipline me and keep me on the right road.

I love you Mom!  


KHDW said…
Funny. I never had any of those used on me. What I did have: "I'm gonna knock your head all the way to China.", "This isn't a democracy, it's a dictatorship.", "This time I'm tellin', next time, I'm yellin'.". My husband always had "I'm gonna jack your jaws." and "I'm gonna mash your mouth." I do not know the difference between jack your jaws and mash your mouth, but Brian assures me that one of them is good and one of them is very bad.
Rachel said…
LOVE!!! LOL Glad my mama wasn't the only crazy one.
acloy said…
Oh yeah, 'knock you nekid and hide your clothes'. I also got 'I'm gonna skin you alive.' Oh, I could go on & on. And, yes - now I am saying some of the same things. *sigh*
I got several of those (although the hairy thighs one is def. a surprise, however, I LOVE it). One of my personal favs from back then Has always been how our parents asked us rhetorical questions we weren't supposed to answer. I.E. Do you want me to knock you into the middle of next week??? Yes, please, I have always wanted to time travel.
Rachel said…
Oh my gosh, Anna. SO TRUE! Of course our moms ARE related so perhaps Hazel and Polly taught them those! BTW - my mother said, "Your blog was funny, but I don't want people to think all I did was beat you." :) So I assure you all, that I rarely got spankings...why would i need them...the threats were enough!

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